Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: Biore Cleansing Oil

Identifying Information
Product name: Biore Cleansing Oil, 150mL
Price: PhP 299.00
Description: "This oil-based makeup remover from Japan has excellent cleansing ability that makes makeup removal so quick and easy. Suitable for medium to heavy makeup users. It effectively dissolves and removes stubborn makeup, even waterproof mascara, while lifting away dirt and impurities. Unlike typical oil makeup removers, it does not emulsify upon contact with water, thus maintaining its optimal cleansing performance at all times." 
  • No greasy or sticky feeling on skin after use
  • Gentle and mild on skin
  • Refreshing fragrance
Product Origin: Japan
Where I bought it: Watsons, SM Supercenter Pasig
History: For more than 2 years now I've been using micellar water for makeup removal. I just soak a cotton pad with micellar water and wipe my makeup away. It was a quick and reliable process for me which was without any mess or oiliness. I also quite liked how I could sometimes skip rinsing or washing my face when I use micellar water. Now that I'm regularly using a topical acne medication, I found that my skin has become a bit more sensitive than usual so wiping it repeatedly with a cotton pad makes it irritated. Thus I began my search for an affordable but effective cleansing oil. A fellow Filipina in the AsianBeauty subreddit told me that the Biore Cleansing Oil only costs PhP 299.00. I thought it was extremely affordable for a cleansing oil so I decided to purchase it!I've been using this for more than 2 weeks now. :)

Physical Examination:
Biore Cleansing Oil bottle
Biore Cleansing Oil description and ingredients

Ingredients: Mineral Oil, PEG-12 Laurate, Isododecane, Water, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polyglyceryl-2 Isostearate, Decyl Glucoside, Polysorbate 85, Glyceryl Oleate, Isostearic Acid, Isostearyl Glyceryl Ether, Isostearyl Glyceryl Pentaerythrityl Ether, Myristyl Alcohol, Alcohol, Citric Acid, Phosphoric Acid, BHT, Fragrance, Tocopherol
A full face of makeup on my hand: Sunkiller waterproof sunscreen, Missha ChoBoYang BB cream, Tony Moly Face Mix loose powder, Etude House eyebrow pencil, Etude House Oh m'eye line eyeliner, Heroine Make Long & Curl mascara, Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow, Etude House Play 101 pencil, Tony Moly lip tint
Salient Features
  • Dissolves makeup easily, even the Heroine Make Long and Curl mascara!
    • This was truly impressive for me! I have a cleansing oil from Etude House which does a good job but it's not able to fully remove the Heroine Make mascara from my lashes. This one from Biore removes ALMOST ALL of my makeup with minimal effort. (It doesn't remove 100% of my lip tints.) I don't need to use a separate eye makeup remover so I spend less time and effort in removing makeup.
  • It smells like apples. The scent is non-irritating and does not trigger my allergic rhinitis!
  • Emulsifies (even if it says it doesn't on the product description) and rinses off easily
  • Does not leave an oily film on the skin
  • Has not caused any allergic reaction, new pimples, skin redness or irritation
  • Comes in a pump bottle that works perfectly; the pump has a cover which keeps dirt away from the hole and also serves as its lock
  • Has the right viscosity to be easily massaged on the face and not drip down my neck/chest
  • It does not irritate my eyes. Well I try to keep it from entering my eyes when I'm gently massaging it on my lids and lashes. It doesn't sting my eyes and doesn't cause blurring of vision.
  • Affordable and economical
    • Most cleansing oils I know cost more than 600 pesos. The one from Etude House costs more than 800 pesos and has 200mL of product. This one only costs 299 pesos for 150mL!
  • Available at Watsons
  • This can leave my skin feeling a bit dry. I use this as the first step of my double-cleansing and follow it up with Safeguard Derma Sense for Sensitive Skin. When I'm done with my double-cleanse, my skin feels somewhat tight. I don't get that tight feeling when I'm using only my facial wash. When this cleansing oil is used on its own though, the dryness isn't as noticeable. :)
Impression/Rating: 3.7/4
Discussion: I only started regularly using makeup removers when I was in medical school. Before that, I would just sometimes use Pond's cold cream. What I normally did was wash my face twice with my facial wash. Doing so left my skin dry and tight with erythematous patches and wheals. I thought my skin was just a bit sensitive so I didn't think negatively of it because the patches and wheals went away after about 10 minutes. Now I know that my skin was getting irritated then. The last time I had such a reaction to a facial wash was more than 5 years ago.

Cream type makeup removers like the Pond's cold cream and Etude House Happy Tea Time Cleansing Cream are effective at getting rid of makeup but I'm just not so fond of them. I much prefer micellar water and now, cleansing oils. I've also tried using makeup wipes and while they're travel-friendly and easy to use, using them regularly can become quite expensive in the long run. Choosing which type of makeup remover to use depends heavily on preference. If you're using makeup or even just sunscreen, I highly recommend that you use a makeup remover to ensure that every last bit of makeup or sunscreen is dissolved and washed off. It will help prevent pore clogging and acne breakouts and it will also make your skin more ready to absorb whatever skincare you're going to apply to it.
Biore Cleansing Oil in action
Top row, left to right: makeup ready to be removed; about 2 pumps of cleansing oil on dry skin
Bottom row, left to right: massage cleansing oil until makeup is dissolved; add a bit of water and continue massaging
How is a cleansing oil used? I put about 2 full pumps on my palm and carefully spread it over my entire face. I massage the oil for around a minute or two, making sure I cover all parts of my face. With the least amount of pressure possible, I very gently massage the oil on my eyes too. I then add a bit of water to emulsify the cleansing oil and continue massaging for a few seconds. After which I rinse it off with water. I then follow it up with whatever facial wash I feel like using. :)

Now let's talk about the main ingredient of this product which is mineral oil. Mineral oil has gained a bad reputation over the recent years. One of the negative things said about mineral oil is that it is comedogenic (clogs the pores) therefore it causes comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and acne. There are a lot of other myths about mineral oil that you can read in this post by the two wonderful cosmetic chemists behind The Beauty Brains. In a news article by ScienceDaily, it was revealed that a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology reported that cosmetic grade mineral oil is not comedogenic. Furthermore, an article about the benefits of mineral oil published in 2012 in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science stated that "early animal studies suggested that mineral oil was comedogenic, but the evidence (using more recent human models) and consensus of opinion is now the opposite." When mineral oil was first tested for comedogenicity, they used it on rabbits' ears. But when mineral oil was used on a human model, five studies showed that 100% mineral oil had zero comedogenic activity. They found that rabbits were more prone to comedogenicity than humans and they concluded that "1-2 comedones in animal testing would be unlikely to be an indicator of comedogenicity in humans." TL;DR Mineral oil is not comedogenic. It does not clog the pores.

Mineral oil is a highly effective moisturizer since it's both an occlusive and an emollient. That means it prevents water from leaving the skin (transepidermal water loss) and it also makes the skin soft and smooth. As a makeup remover, it works excellently because it easily dissolves makeup and facial oil (like dissolves like, so oil dissolves oil). In a cleansing oil, it is combined with emulsifiers or surfactants that help to rinse it off completely. If you want to know more about the mechanism of action of cleansing oils, I highly recommend you read this article by the Lab Muffin. She has a PhD in Chemistry and she explains scientific stuff in an easy to understand manner. I love her blog!

Even if studies have shown that mineral oil isn't comedogenic, people may still have negative skin reactions towards it. As always, it's YMMV (your mileage may vary) meaning you may have a different experience compared to others. :)
Rinsed off with water! No more makeup! Skin is now ready for a foaming wash. :)
Prognosis: This cleansing oil from Biore is wonderful! It effectively removes waterproof makeup with little effort and it's affordable too. It does dry my skin a little but for its price and for how good it is, that's acceptable for me. I will continue using it. Now the big question is, will I repurchase it? That I'm not quite sure yet. I'm thinking of trying out other cleansing oils to see if I find THE ONEthe cleansing oil (or balm) that is as good at removing makeup as this one but doesn't leave my skin feeling dry. I have a feeling that I'll stick with this one for some time though because it fits my tight budget!  

What is your favorite cleansing oil or balm? I need suggestions on which one to try next after I finish this up and once my no-buy ends. Haha. :)

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2005, May 31). Don't Believe The Hype -- Mineral Oil Won't Give You Zits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2015 from

Rawlings, A. V. and Lombard, K. J. (2012), A review on the extensive skin benefits of mineral oil. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 34: 511–518. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2012.00752.x

*TL;DR = too long; didn't read
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  1. It looks like an amazing remover! I wish we had that in the states ;<

    1. It is, especially for how affordable it is! Japanese brand makeup cleansers are really good! I hope you can get it there!

  2. Micellar water is my favorite cleanser too, I use regular cleanser before or after )
    But its true that rubbing with cotton path can irritate your skin.
    Glad you finally committed to a cleansing oil, I still have to make that step. I have basically acne prone combination skin and I'm afraid to break out from the oil (happened to me before) but I'm overcoming my fear and will start to introduce one of these cleansing oils ))


    1. Oh, if you could get samples before purchasing the full size bottle that would be great. :) If micellar water works well on your skin though I think it's okay to use that instead of cleansing oil. :D Your skin looks smooth and clear now so it would be quite unfortunate if you break out because of trying a new cleanser :)

  3. Micellar water is my favorite cleanser too, I use regular cleanser before or after )
    But its true that rubbing with cotton path can irritate your skin.
    Glad you finally committed to a cleansing oil, I still have to make that step. I have basically acne prone combination skin and I'm afraid to break out from the oil (happened to me before) but I'm overcoming my fear and will start to introduce one of these cleansing oils ))